Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has highlighted three independent reports published last year that show exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) when operated in open-loop mode, have minimal impact on water and sediment quality.
The most recent report, conducted by CE Delft and co-sponsored by CLIA, analysed the long-term impact of washwater discharges from EGCS on port water and sediment. Using empirical data from almost 300 EGCS washwater samples—claimed to be the most extensive dataset of this kind to date—it was found that such discharges have minimal environmental impact on water and sediment quality as compared to new European environmental quality standards due to enter into force in 2021.
CE Delft’s report and its findings follows two other studies, which were undertaken to further understand the impact of EGCS on marine environments. This included a two-year study conducted by DNV GL, which found washwater samples from 53 cruise ships equipped with EGCS to be below the limits set by major international water quality standards.
Another recent study, conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, found the impact of scrubbers on water quality and marine life to be negligible.
“EGCS systems are designed to effectively remove 98% of sulfur and well over 50% of particulate matter,” said Brian Salerno, Senior Vice President of Maritime Policy, CLIA (pictured). “These studies are important validators for the industry that these systems, whether operated in open or closed-loop modes, are safe for the environment, in compliance with the new restrictions set forth in IMO 2020 and in keeping with the industry’s commitment to responsible tourism practices.”
Taken together, the studies further support the use of EGCS technology as a viable means for compliance with IMO2020.
EGCS (scrubbers) process emissions from ships to almost completely remove sulfur content and significantly reduce particulate matter found in exhaust. Additional means of compliance with the recently enforced regulations include the use of LNG fuel, which has virtually zero sulfur emissions, and use of compliant fuel such as Marine Gas Oil.
CLIA’s deepsea cruise fleet includes two ships that are currently using LNG for primary propulsion, with another 25 under construction or on the order books.
All three reports are available at the following:
• The impacts of EGCS washwater discharges on port water and sediment (CE Delft).
• Report by the expert board for the environmental impact assessment of discharge water from Scrubbers (Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism).
• Compilation and Assessment of Lab Samples from EGCS Washwater Discharge on Carnival Ships (DNV GL).